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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seven Stages

So, we're officially going through the seven stages of grief.

It sucks.

This weekend was especially hard. Monday was the day we were supposed to bring Elliana home, and begin our new life together! Instead, there was no baby, no nap for Tate, and Mark had to work until almost seven. Luckily for me, my best bud Missy and her boyfriend Todd came over in the afternoon and kept me company.

Yesterday my mom came over and helped me clean and organize what would have been the baby's room. It was hard to put the clothes and stuff away into boxes, but it needed to happen. I feel a lot better about it this morning.

I think one of the hardest things is the guilt we feel. Did we do something wrong to make the birthmom change her mind? Are we too weird, or too lazy or too...I don't know. I just hate to think that she chose to parent because she didn't want us to raise the baby. I know that it's not true, she just couldn't give up the baby, but sometimes I wonder.

I've also been struggling with anger. How can a loving God deny this child a chance to grow up in a house that is centered around him, and possibly risk the chance of this little being not knowing him? I know that my anger is misplaced, however, and that God is perfect, and I don't have to understand. I just want to feel angry, and it's hard to be angry at the birthmom because she's so young. I feel more sorry for her than anything.

All in all, I do see the Lord's hand on this entire situation. This child will always be in our hearts and prayers, and it's an incredibly loving God to ordain an entire family to pray for a single child for her entire life. She will always be protected and covered by our prayers. I can see how a loving God would orchestrate that. I can also see his love for another couple, though I can't share it with them. They have become good friends of ours throughout this process, and they were the number two choice of the birthmom. It was so hard to tell them that we had been chosen, when they are aching for a baby. However, with the outcome being what it is, I am so grateful that it was us and not them who are going through this. To be able to shield them from the pain we are feeling is such a great gift.

We are slowly moving on with our lives. We haven't heard an update on the birthmom or the baby. We do know she was supposed to deliver last Thursday and as of Sunday there was no baby. I am relieved about this because her counselor was out of town last week for a business trip, and wouldn't have been able to make it for the birth. This week she's around, so I know that when the baby is born there will be at least one person there not sugarcoating things and telling BMom only what she wants to hear. This is good closure for me knowing that some reason will be spoken.

Well, I've mind dumped enough for this morning. I must go and finish feeding my blessed offspring. He was up at about 6 this morning, so it may be a looooooooong day...we'll see.

Have a wonderful day!
Love,
Jenni

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More stuff

Last I heard, today is the day our "birthmom" is going in for a C-Section. I don't really know what to call her...I don't want to share her name because I don't have permission, but she isn't really our birthmom anymore.

Anyway, she should be having a C-section today, so please keep her and the baby in your prayers. God is bigger than any person's feelings, and if this baby is supposed to be ours, it will happen. If not, we have peace that he loves her more than we do, and we trust in that. We are praying for wisdom for the entire family, and peace as well.

Please join us in prayer today, and this weekend. I am extremely thankful for the love and support we've received from all of you during this journey. You have no idea how much your encouragement has helped us these last few weeks.

I wasn't going to share this until after we had her, but I feel that it's fitting to share now. The name we decided on for this baby was/is Elliana Marie. Mark's middle name is Elliott, and she would be named after him. Also, in Hebrew, Elliana means "the Lord has answered my prayer." I don't believe in coincidence, and I believe that she could be earning her name!

I realize the chance is next to nothing, humanly speaking, that she will change her mind. However, I believe that God is so big, and is using this time to bring about his perfect will.

Mark and I were watching Return of the King last night (we watch the series about once a year), and I was struck by a line that Gimli says about their plan to ride out and directly attack to create a diversion for Sam and Frodo. Gimli says "Certain death, small chance of success, what are we waiting for?" I just had to laugh at that, because it seems to be where we are in this part of our adoption story. But, we just wait and hope, knowing that God's plan will come together in his timing.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Love,
Jenni

Friday, July 11, 2008

We're Off

We're heading to the coast to hang out with family for a week. It couldn't have come at a better time. We'll fill you in (if there's anything new) when we get back!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not what we had hoped

The birth mom has decided to parent.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

PRAISE THE LORD!!

The birth father's family is open to an adoption! Praise Jesus! We are so relieved.

The birth mom is still having a hard time with the whole thing, so please keep her in your prayers. The realization of what's going to happen is daunting, and we just keep praying and hoping. The counselor is meeting with her today, so we should know more soon.

I just wanted to share the good news!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Walking by Faith

**Warning! May be graphic content**

Mark and I have decided that it's time for us to start preparing for Sam.

We weren't going to at first because everything is so up in the air, but we decided that we really, honestly believe that she will be ours, and it's time to start acting like we're ready for her, and be walking in faith instead of being so worried about protecting our hearts. So, to that end I have begun organizing the room that will be hers, and I've begun pumping.

WHAT!??!!

(here's the graphic part...skip if you don't want to read about nursing)
Yes, I am going to breastfeed her if possible. I nursed Tate, and it was a great thing for our family, and I feel called to do the same for Sam...or at least attempt. To that end I had three short pumping sessions today. I was unsure of how it would go, but it was fine. I was able to even get some colostrum! I feel very excited about that, and relieved, too. I'm not terribly surprised because it's been less than a year since I stopped nursing Tate (yes, I nursed him after he was a year old. Twice a day, morning and night. I wanted him to get the same nutrients while we were in Central America). We'll see how the rest of it goes, but for now I am encouraged.

I am also crocheting Sam a hat and booties to come home from the hospital. This is the hardest thing for me. As I sit here working on them, I am dreaming about her praying for her. If we don't get her, looking at those will be so hard. I won't be able to just save them for the next baby because they are hers. No one Else's. Only hers. But, if I feel compelled to make them, so I am. They are going to be forest green with either red and yellow flowers or pink and purple flowers. We'll see what kind of mood I'm in when it's time to embroider.

So, just so you're not surprised, here's how I think things are going to shake down. I really believe that we will be Sam's parents, but I think it will come down to the wire. I am hoping and praying that the birth father will really think about his options after the meeting tomorrow and just sign the papers, but I don't think that will happen. I think it will be after she's here and reality hits. That's fine, but I still hope it gets wrapped up in a neat little bow before she's born.

Mark and I are fully relying on God and his wisdom, power and grace right now. Satan has repeatedly tried (and sometimes succeeded) in discouraging us, but we confess and ask for forgiveness when our faith is weak. God has Sam's best interest in mind, he loves her more than we do. He is guiding everyone, and when we are at our weakest, he is strong.

"While we wait and wait and wait, and hope and hope and hope, God is basking in the glory being reflected back to him by his faithful servants." -Andy Stanley, Visioneering.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

Hey Guys,
Today is the first of two very important meetings for our adoption. There have been some hiccups with making Sam legally free to adopt. Her birth mom is now on board, but her birth dad's family isn't sure about the adoption. They are all meeting tonight and Tuesday to discuss the specifics, and I'm requesting prayer for all the individuals involved for wisdom, peace, and compassion. I really believe that God will use this to reflect glory back to him, but it's hard waiting. Please join us in prayer! I will post when we hear something.

Love,
Jenni

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My "Grand's" Legacy

Two of my good friends each lost a grandparent this week. Actually, both ladies were in my wedding and I consider them more like sisters. As I've prayed for them through their losses, I've been reminded how blessed I am in the grandparents department.

Remarkably, I have all four of my grandparents still living in good health. If you know me well, you know how shocking it is, since my mom's dad died on our boat when I was 15. You're probably wondering how I still have four...well, REALLY long story short, my mom and I revived him using CPR and he lived with very few complications, and was baptized few months later. He had his first heart attack in his late 30's, has had 3 open heart surgeries, and has only 20% of his heart left, yet, he lives on. He is a testament of God's grace and healing. My maternal grandma is still in great health, too. She's survived living with my grandpa for over 50 years and is feisty as all get out! They go fishing every summer (pretty much all summer) and I love them very much.

My dad's parent's are also in relatively good health. My grandma has ALS (as have just about every other woman and some men on my dad's side) but she's still walking and living life to the fullest. My grandpa is in great health, and is an inspiration, too. After his retirement he started volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, and has worked their for over 8 years. He "retired" from that last year, and they had to hire two people to do the work he was doing.

All this to say, my grandparents are incredible people. They have taught me that nothing is as important as hard work. They've also taught me the value of commitment. They have both been married for over 50 years! I love you, grandmas and grandpas, and I don't want to take a minute of the precious time I have with you for granted!